Speaker holds Shinde group as real Shiv Sena

Says party leadership cannot use provision of 10th Schedule for dissent


Geetanjali Minhas | January 11, 2024 | Mumbai

#Eknath Shinde   #Uddhav Thackeray   #Shiv Sena   #Maharashtra  
Chief minister Eknath Shinde (file photo)
Chief minister Eknath Shinde (file photo)

Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narvekar on Wednesday held that the chief minister Eknath Shinde led group is the real Shiv Sena political party and thus its MLAs cannot be disqualified.

Holding that the Shinde-led faction was the original Shiv Sena, when the party was bifurcated in 2022, Narwekar said that former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had no power to remove Shinde and no party leadership can use the provisions of 10th Schedule for dissent or indiscipline within party. “Shinde’s decision is an intra-party dissent,” he said.

Rejecting the Thackeray faction’s ‘disqualification’ of the 16 Shiv Sena MLAs including Shinde, Narwekar said there is no valid ground to disqualify them and no party leadership can use the provision of 10th schedule for dissent or indiscipline within party. He also said that the MLAs going incommunicado cannot be a ground for disqualification.

“Shiv Sena constitution provides that the national executive is the highest body. Claims by the Thackeray faction that the will of the paksh pramukh is the will of the party cannot be accepted. The party constitution says that the paksha pramukh has no absolute power and they have to be exercised in consultation with the national executive,” he said.

In his ruling Narwekar also held that the 14 MLAs of the Uddhav Thackeray group are also not disqualified.

In June 2022, Shinde and several MLAs had rebelled against the then CM Uddhav Thackeray, leading to a split in the Sena and fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition which also included Nationalist Congress Party and Congress as allies. Later, both factions of the split Shiv Sena had filed disqualification petitions against each other. With support from BJP, Shinde was made the CM. Later in 2023, Ajit Pawar and his group of MLAs also joined the government causing a split in the Sharad Pawar-led NCP.

The speaker said that the Uddhav Thackeray group’s submission to consider Shiv Sena 2018 constitution cannot be accepted. He instead relied on the 1999 constitution of the Shiv Sena given by the Eknath Shinde-led faction as the 'valid constitution'. “The constitution of Shiv Sena provided by the Election Commission of India is the relevant constitution of Shiv Sena for the determination of which faction is the real political party," he said.
The 2018 edition of the guidelines was deemed invalid as it does not feature on the ECI records. The speaker rejected the Shiv Sena(UBT) demand of considering the amended constitution and gave the order on the basis of the old and un-amended constitution of 1999.

“The parties have different points of view. The only aspect is the majority in the legislature party. I will have to decide the relevant constitution to be taken into account to the leadership structure that existed before the dispute,” said Narwekar.  

He also said the UBT faction did not submit any material to prove that the national executive meeting was held to decide which faction was the real party following the split.
Reacting to the order, Uddhav Thackeray said, “It is a murder of democracy. The Supreme Court had said that the governor had misused his position and made a wrong decision. The Supreme Court will not stop without giving complete justice to the people and Shiv Sena.”




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